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Former Inglewood Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Federal Drug Charges

John Abel Baca, a former Inglewood Police Department officer, has decided to plead guilty to a federal charge of cocaine distribution recently. Baca, aged 47 and hailing from Whittier, had served as an Inglewood officer for 21 years. His plea agreement, submitted in Los Angeles federal court on Thursday, acknowledges his involvement in two separate instances of cocaine distribution.

The first incident took place on April 29, 2021, where Baca supplied cocaine to a cooperating witness. A week later, he delivered 2.2 pounds of cocaine to the same informant, receiving $22,000 in cash in exchange, according to the document.

Furthermore, the plea agreement reveals that in February 2021, the witness informed the FBI that Baca had offered to sell 2.2 pounds of cocaine, 4.4 pounds of "China White" heroin, and an unlimited supply of black tar heroin. The informant also reported that Baca claimed to have stolen drugs and cash during routine traffic stops while on duty.

In late April 2021, during a covertly recorded meeting, Baca provided a cocaine sample to the informant to show potential buyers. A few days later, he negotiated the sale of 2.2 pounds of cocaine for $22,000 in cash, delivering the cocaine to the informant's workplace. Later that day, Baca collected the agreed-upon $22,000 in cash from the cooperating witness.

In his plea agreement, Baca admitted to abusing his position of trust as a police officer by stealing drugs from the police department's lock-up and reselling them. As part of the agreement, he has consented to plead guilty to one count of cocaine distribution, a crime that carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Currently out on a $1.1 million bond, Baca is set to formally enter his guilty plea in Santa Ana federal court on Tuesday.

Link: CBSNews


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